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Handmade Home: Creating My Dream Patio

Today decor8 columnist Anna-Malin is back to visit us from Sweden sharing her recently redecorated patio. I love seeing how people treat a patio space – some fancy tables and chairs with a big umbrella, others add a water feature or fire pit and still others incorporate hammocks or even build a koi pond. It’s amazing to see the difference from patio-to-patio as you browse magazines and books for outdoor spaces, isn’t it? I think you’ll love Anna-Malin’s patio because it’s more of a second living room and lounge space for relaxing, reading and entertaining during the warmer months and can take her straight into the Autumn. I’ll let her take it from here…

Patio Inspiration

Hello everyone it’s Anna-Malin! For my June column I wanted to share my newly decorated outdoor patio because I am very proud of it and feel that it could be an inspiration to many of you who are unsure as to how to decorate your outdoor space. Last summer my husband and I built a wooden frame in the backyard to create a room in our garden area (below). Since we have full sun in our yard all day long we needed a place with some shade for relief! On top of the wooden frame we put branches and twigs to create a rustic, natural ceiling. On the concrete wall to soften it a bit visually, we added a shelf and some wood for vines.

Patio Inspiration

This year I bought new furniture — a sofa, a big round table and a chair — all in bamboo. I wanted the feeling to be calm and relaxed
so I added a lot of pillows in a mix of patterns, shapes and colors and I store them when I’m not using the patio to protect from fading and water damage since they are not waterproof. I also bring in the sheep skin when I’m not using my patio. A sheer panel (below – you can’t see it in the photo above) not only looks pretty swaying in the breeze but filters the light as well.

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

By mixing the bamboo furniture with my old white rattan armchairs and a really old bench from the flea market, I achieved the feeling that I was looking for – rustic, modern, clean and very “me”. I like to have a space that feels very personal, even outdoors. The string of lights were added to the fence to give a warm glow at night and lanterns create a romantic ethnic bohemian vibe in the evening along with some good tunes from my iPod.

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

With beautiful weather finally here, this my favorite place right now, especially in the evenings with lots of candles, a cup of tea and a good book. I hope my outdoor space inspired you – do you have a place in your backyard to create something similar? Do you already have a patio that you’ve recently redecorated? You can link it in your comment if you would like to show and tell!

I’ll be back in July with another Handmade Home story from you, until then, goodbye! Anna-Malin Lindgren.

Posted in Decorating Tips, guest bloggers, outdoors on June 14, 2011

Design Night

This is one hot planter. I recently got word from Dominic D’Andrea and his wife that their company, Design Night, just introduced a gorgeous handmade ceramic planter and my gosh, it’s great! In fact, if I had outdoor space I’d be emailing Dominic right now asking for a white one, please. I’d love this on a patio. These limited-edition planters, called Nature, are intended for growing herbs and flowers. The opening at the top is able to hold plants that need to root deeper.

Design Night

Opening like a blossom, the form allows each pocket to collect water,” Dominic says. He adds, “The planter is made using a complex six-part mold (compared to the typical two- to four-part mold) with seventeen post-molding cuts. Each piece is carefully cast, hand-finished and glazed in Portland, Oregon. Three holes on the bottom allow for drainage. The planter is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.” Oh wait. Did he say indoor use? Hmmmm…. Now my wheels are turning. This is just so sculptural, practical (especially for city folk like me), and completely beautiful… what do you think? (images: design night)

(images: design night)

Posted in outdoors on October 09, 2009

Terrain: My Wish List

The season is starting to change from Summer to Autumn and Oktoberfest will kick off next week. This is my favorite time of the year, the time for new beginnings, leather jackets and layering clothes, pretty bags and boots, and patterned tights. It’s also a great time to layer the home, decorate, and enjoy candles and warm meals with your family.

Terrain

The leaves are starting to change (we have the same beautiful Fall as in New England, thankfully, so I’m not missing out), acorns and chestnuts are all over the walkways and streets, the red squirrels are busy collecting (here’s what squirrels look like here), the air is changing to crisp and slightly cool, and at night I can smell the stoves burning — that lovely smell of wood combined with the smell or plants and earth from the nearby largest urban forest in Europe just two blocks away (side note: it has a ancient nine-ring turf labyrinth that my husband played in as a child, it has existed since 1642, isn’t that cool?).

Terrain

So, on with the point of presenting Terrain! I was so happy to learn that Terrain at Styer’s in Pennsylvania, a garden shop, greenhouse and cafe, now has an online store. Has anyone been to their PA location? It really reminds me of some of the garden centers that I see over here… I love the organic feel and how cozy everything is — plus their attention to detail and their design eye is absolute perfection. It’s great that their shop is now online for those who don’t live anywhere near Pennsylvania but who would enjoy some of their product offerings. Here are some views of their store in case you’d like to travel there today… And below, are some views of products that I love – my wish list. :) Please click images to enlarge.


Terrain Wish List

a. Open weave teak sofa (for the patio), b. rust wire edging for the garden, c. romantic mood lighting for the patio, d. a unique metal & rope pendant, e. Hadley Hutton prints (just because), f. Tretorn boots for planting, g. ruled vase (love!) and h. nesting bowls (double love!).


Terrain Wish List

1. natural nail brush (we have these everywhere here, Germans are big on natural brushes of all shapes and sizes!), 2 + 3. yummy candles from: Le Conte in pear or fresh mown grass from Mark and Sally Bailey, 4. carrot hand cream, 5. alaska mud mask and brush (after a long day in the garden), 6. homemade pie fillings, 7. glass and rope terrarium (wow, imagine several grouped on a buffet?), 8. bird trivet, 9. culinary lavender (great for breads and chocolates!), 10. and a jute log basket because it’s important to keep that firing burning and 11. a good book: natural garden style to relax with.

What are some of your favorites from Terrain? What does Fall look like in your part of the world? Isn’t it Spring in South Africa and warming up in Australia too?

(images: terrain)


Posted in outdoors, round-up on September 24, 2009

Reader Q: Help My Ugly Front Porch!

Jen is a reader looking for some help today with her front porch. She cannot make any structural changes but needs help with color and perhaps some furniture ideas and placement.

Jen’s stoop – Any suggestions?

Jen says, “It’s a fairly useless porch and it’s waaaaaay too white. We are going to replace the screen door and I’m thinking of painting the front door a bolder color (it’s now black). The walls of the porch have been primed and I’m just trying to decide what color it should be painted. I’d like to warm up the house a bit. And I’d like the porch to reflect the style within our house, not necessarily the 60’s split level style. Our *style* could be described as eclectic–contemporary cottage, perhaps. Cozy with lots of books and comfy furniture but not cluttered. Oh–and the picture does not properly show the planting that is to the right of the front step. I’ve got a huge bunch of black-eyed Susans there right now, but would happily change it if someone has ideas. The whole area is just plain awkward.”

Hmmm… Perhaps a lovely before and after from blogger Tissue Papers may inspire Jen a little?


Or maybe Martha Stewart can help (link)? Do you have some tips to help Jen add a little curb appeal to her porch? Thanks for writing in, Jen!

(images: top from reader jen, bottom two from the tissue papers blog)

Posted in outdoors, reader questions on August 04, 2008

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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